Word Automation Services Overview

SharePoint 2010

Last modified: April 06, 2010

Applies to: SharePoint Server 2010

Word Automation Services is a new service application in SharePoint Server 2010. Word Automation Services provides unattended, server-side conversion of documents into formats that are supported by the Microsoft Word client application.

In simplest terms, Word Automation Services takes the "Save As…" functionality of the Word client application and replicates it for the server. Specifically, Word Automation Services provides the following capabilities:

  • Opens documents that Word can open, including:

    • Open XML File Format documents (.docx, .docm, .dotx, .dotm).

    • Word 97-2003 documents (.doc, .dot).

    • Rich Text Format files (.rtf).

    • Single File Web Pages (.mht, .mhtml).

    • Word 2003 XML Documents (.xml).

    • Word XML Document (.xml).

  • Supports all automatic tasks that execute when a document opens, such as:

    • Updating the Table of Contents, the Table of Authorities, and index fields.

    • Recalculating all field types.

    • XML mapping.

    • Merging of alternate format chunks.

    • Setting the compatibility mode of the document to the latest version or to previous versions of Word.

  • Saves documents types that Word can save. This list is identical to the previous list of files that the Word Automation Services can open, but also includes the following types:

    • Portable Document Format (PDF) files.

    • XML Paper Specification (XPS) files.

With Word Automation Services, tasks that previously required you to run the Word client application can now be automated to run unattended in a more reliable and scalable way than in previous solutions.

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